Best Way to Secure a Trail Camera
Hunters, researchers and outdoor enthusiasts all rely on trail camera footage to understand the habits of deer, bear, wolves and other wildlife. Footage captured by game cameras is used to learn more about an area's native animals, whether for hunting or conservation purposes.
Unfortunately, game camera theft is a common occurrence. When a trail camera thief takes a camera, irreplaceable footage is often taken along with it. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to make it more difficult for someone to find and steal your game camera, including thoughtfully placing it and investing in security accessories.
In this guide, we'll discuss some tips and tools you can use to protect your game cameras from theft.
How to Prevent Game Camera Theft
Just a little bit of pre-planning and careful consideration can be all it takes to keep your camera safe from theft. One of the best ways to theft-proof your game camera is to be thoughtful about where and how you install it:
- Hang it high: Install your trail camera high enough that the average adult cannot reach it, and angle it downward to catch wildlife from a more aerial perspective. Some wildlife experts prefer this method for image capturing because you are less likely to make deer or other animals nervous when the camera takes a picture. Chances are, if someone is stealing trail cameras, they won't linger in the area long enough to climb a tree before going through the trouble of removing the camera from any mounting gear or lock boxes. Additionally, most people don't look up when walking through the woods, so they are less likely to see the camera.
- Utilize camouflage: Camouflage your camera with organic matter, like tree branches, hollow stumps, vines, leaves or rocks. Just be sure your camera is secured off the ground. If there aren't any suitable hiding spots, drag brush or cut some limbs to place around your camera. When camouflaging your camera, remember to select a camera with low or no-glow flash, and take the time to spray a scent blocker on the gear once it's hidden to prevent wildlife from being alarmed.
- Use a decoy: If you're concerned about a trail camera thief stealing your gear, consider setting up a decoy. Place a decoy camera — something inexpensive, outdated or a broken camera — in a visible, easily accessible area with your real trail camera thoroughly hidden nearby. Make sure when installing the real camera that you angle it toward the decoy, so you can capture images of both wildlife and the camera thief.
- Write your name on it: Write your name and phone number on your trail camera. Sometimes, permanent identifying information will deter a thief. Other times, it can help reconnect you with your stolen camera if it has been lost or pawned.
- Avoid popular areas: Try to avoid installing your game camera in popular hunting areas, as these are the spots a trail camera thief will likely check first. You should also practice caution if setting your camera up near a feeding area, as these are also hot-spots for theft. If you are set on putting a camera somewhere easily accessible, invest in security accessories — like a reinforced security box and locking cable — to protect your gear.
- Use instant surveillance: In the past, hunters were forced to make regular stops at their trail cameras, retrieve the SD card and download the images at home — but not anymore. Instant mobile surveillance is a growing trend in the trail cam world because of how convenient and easy it is. With instant surveillance, images are sent directly to your cellphone, email or stored safely in cloud storage. This can help alert you if someone is getting too close, and you won't lose your footage if your camera gets stolen. Cellular game camera systems can even be customized, based on how often you want to receive images and notifications, and all camera settings can be controlled remotely.
How to Theft-Proof Your Trail Camera
Your trail camera is an investment and an essential part of a successful hunting season. The last thing you want is to lose your camera or its footage.
The best way to keep your trail camera safe is to secure it using one or more of the following methods:
1. Security Boxes
Security boxes — also called bear boxes — are made of reinforced powder-coated steel and designed for your trail camera to fit securely inside. They keep your camera safe from strong winds, curious bears and trail camera thieves. Pair a trail camera lock box with a braided locking cable, tie it to a tree and rest easy at night knowing your game camera isn't going anywhere.
2. Locking Cables
Trail camera locks and locking cables are designed with anti-cut materials and adhere tightly around trees to make them nearly impossible to remove unless unlocked by the owner. The Python braided steel locking cable from Moultrie can be easily adjusted to reach anywhere from six inches to six feet and is designed with a pick-resistant locking mechanism. The lock is coated in rust-resistant vinyl, making this the ultimate impenetrable cable lock, suitable for trees of all shapes and sizes.
Installing game camera locks is easy — simply wrap the cable tightly through a security box and around the tree, lock it and store the excess cable with the attached velcro strap.
3. Camera Mounts
Camera mounts are an excellent choice whether you're using your game camera for monitoring deer or surveillance around your home. Mounts make it easy to secure your trail camera to a tree, pole, post or wall. In addition to protection from theft, mounts also help keep your camera level and steady, minimizing any movement that could cause blurry images. Some mounts even make it easier to angle your camera toward the ground, which is perfect if you plan to install it in an out-of-reach area.
Moultrie Accessories Can Help Theft-Proof Your Game Camera
Moultrie is your one-stop-shop for all your game camera needs, including anti-theft trail camera accessories, like security boxes, locking cables and camera mounts. Pair these accessories with our innovative mobile game cam surveillance system, Moultrie Mobile, and you can rest assured your game camera and all its valuable footage will remain safe and sound. You can also shop Moultrie for high-quality deer and fish feeders, wildlife attractants and more.
Learn more about our mobile surveillance system or browse our inventory of camera accessories today.